Vacation with two Newfs – Day Seven

Saturday, our last full day in New Hampshire was the perfect day for a drive to the top of Mount Washington. The sky was perfectly clear, the temperature was in the 80s, and there was no wind at all. That translated to a 45 degrees, and 35 MPH winds on top of the mountain, and that’s a balmy summer day up there. In my almost 40 years of coming to New Hampshire, I had never been to the top of Mt. Washington. We had bought “next day free” tickets for the water park though, and the kids wanted to go. Worse, it was two hours to get to the auto road, plus at least an hour up and back, 30-60 minutes there, and the water park closed at six. Knowing I couldn’t disappoint my kids, I had to take the disappointment myself. I was a very grumpy bug. (more…)

Vacation with Two Newfs – Day Six

Once again the scary ball of fire hung in the sky, confusing those of us who had previously known only darkness and rain. First thing in the morning I took Guinness outside, but the moment I got him down the stairs, he tried to bolt for the van. Seeing as how I controlled his rear legs with the beach towel sling around his belly, he could steer but had little traction. He slowly pulled me to the van and then sat there, pawing at the door. The poor boy was done with New Hampshire. He just wanted to go back home where good dogs weren’t given away. He was breaking my heart. (more…)

Vacation with Two Newfs – Day Five

For the first time in nearly 600 years, it wasn’t raining when we woke up. The cool New Hampshire air gave way to warm New Hampshire air, while we all recoiled in fear from the scary new ball of fire floating in the sky. Our vacation of doom was coming to an end as the future promised three days of unrelenting sunshine, white puffy clouds and an endless supply of Whoopie Pies.

We decided that on this, the end of monsoon season, we would take advantage of our free tickets (thanks Grandma!), and take a ride on the M/S Mt. Washington, a large passenger ship that sails on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. This ship has been sailing in one form or another since 1872 when it was a side-wheeler paddle boat. For as long as I’ve been going to New Hampshire, I’ve been riding on the Mt. Washington, and given the fact that I collected coins during this country’s bicentennial celebrations, that’s a long time. (more…)

Vacation with Two Newfs – Day Four

On day four of our adventure, it rained. Again.

I once heard someone say that Irish people like the rain. I’m Irish, and when I was younger I did enjoy a long walk in the rain with my sweetie. But this rain was making my sweetie grumpy, and I’m here to tell you that this rain was not appreciated by anyone except the dogs, both of whom would have been perfectly happy sitting outside in the rain all day long.

Once again we could do nothing interesting outside, so we did what anyone in our situation would do: we went to Walmart. (more…)

Vacation with Two Newfs – Day Three

On our third day in New Hampshire, the sky finally cleared enough that we could venture outside without getting soaked. We took advantage of the opportunity and went to see the Castle in the Clouds. Once again we staggered ourselves so that the dogs wouldn’t figure out we were leaving them at Grandma’s. Once again, we proved ourselves smarter than our dogs, even if we weren’t yet smart enough to figure out a way to make Guinness eat. (more…)

Vacation with Two Newfs – Day Two

After the excitement of our arrival, we were prepared for anything on our first day of vacation. Well, anything except for continued rain. Naturally, it rained – a lot.

Miraculously, we were not abducted by aliens in the night. New Hampshire has a rich and storied history of alien abduction, and I imagine it’s because there no friggin’ cell, Internet or long distance phone service. The aliens know that you couldn’t even send a text message for help, so the deep woods make for ripe picking of human probing subjects. I credit the dogs with our lack of midnight probing that first night. The way I see it, even interstellar travellers would not want to deal with Annie nudging their arms, or tentacles, or whatever it is they use while operating the probulator. Annie got extra head pats from me that morning while I thanked her for keeping the pesky aliens at bay. (more…)

Vacation with Two Newfs – Day One

Somehow, Lauren and I came to the conclusion that driving two giant dogs, two kids and ourselves almost 400 miles to visit my mother in New Hampshire was a good idea. My mother only knew of Annie through pictures and from the tales spun here in this very blog. As you might imagine, she was a bit nervous about the whole thing, but from my point of view, she had the easy job. She didn’t have to share a vehicle with three hundred pounds of dog, a family of four and all the luggage required for their seven day adventure. (more…)

Guinness and the Air Conditioner

It’s been hot here in the northeast. One day last week it was 105 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 735 degrees in dog years… or something. It was hot. Stupid-hot. Not only was it hot, but the humidity here in New Jersey makes it feel like you’re walking through hot Jello all day. Hot sticky Jello with angry people floating in it. Yum

We wanted three things when we bought our house: Central air, a basement, and a fireplace.  We got the fireplace, and the house, location and everything else was perfect so we bought it without the required basement or central air. We then proceeded to sweat the perspiration of the damned for the next fifteen years. OK, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, and we only sweat the perspiration of the darned, but dammit—it was hot! (more…)

Annie, Guinness and the Mashed Potatoes

One day after coming home from somewhere I don’t recall, having done something unrelated, we were greeted by something we couldn’t believe: the wonder of snow inside our house.

I was pretty sure that snow wasn’t supposed to fall indoors – at least not in the summertime. Yet the floors were dusted with snow, as were the piano bench, the walls, the dog toys, and the ruined canister of bread crumbs resting at the top of the stairs.

Wait, what? (more…)

Annie and the Chocolate

Not for dogs!

I like chocolate. In fact everyone likes chocolate in our house. We try not to have it too much, because it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but sometimes you just need a tasty morsel of gourmet chocolate to melt in your mouth while you moan in pleasure. You know you do it. There’s no need to deny it. We’re all friends here.

Since we all love the stuff, I buy my girls a tower of heart-shaped boxes filled with a variety of tasty gourmet chocolate every Valentine’s Day. Sure I eat half of them, but that’s not important right now. What matters is that I care enough to buy my girls the chocolate they deserve for no other reason than I like it too. Chocolate defies both logic and grammatical protocols you see. (more…)